Posted by: Stephan Muller | October 11, 2010

Save the Hair Cells

After watching a video on TED (if you haven’t hear about TED, check it out at www.ted.com) I found it quite necessary to speak about yet another problem that many of us face: damaged hearing. I am not talking about the fact that hearing worsens over the years. Rather, ways in which teenagers in the United States damage their hearing every day by the use of Mp3 players. I have found myself guilty of playing music excessively loud at times, but realized that I must end this unnecessary activity if I want to keep my hearing relatively sharp in the near future.

Noise induced hearing loss is the result of every day exposure to sounds that are abnormally loud. Examples could be the television, music, traffic, or even household appliances. We are all victims of it, whether you blast your iPod on full volume, or you are watching the subway trains go by, your hair cells are being damaged. Hair cells are small sensory cells that convert sound energy into electrical signals that travel to the brain. Once these cells are damaged, they do not grow back. 26 million Americans between the ages of 20-69 suffer from NIHL, and 5.2 million children/teenagers between the ages of 9-16 are victims of NIHL as well.

The ways to avoid further damage to the hair cells is by practicing the following at all times.

1. Consider which noises are too loud
2. Stay as far away as possible from the loud noises (do not stand next to the speakers at a nightclub)
3. Wear some sort of protection against these sounds – besides earplugs, most sport stores carry ear warmers that also protect the ears from loud noises
4. In the house, consider buying reduced-sound appliances, such as vacuum cleaners and blenders
5. As for the “MP3 Generation” – turn it down

Next time you are sitting next to someone listening to music in the subway and you can hear the words of the song, tell them. Even though most of these people (especially in NYC) will tell you to mind your own business, make them aware of the fact that they will not be able to hear the words they’re listening to in as little as 2o years. 

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Responses

  1. if you’ve got some free time on your hands, i suggest you watch a movie by the name of “It’s all gone, Pete Tong”. A story, based on a real character, who is a DJ, who at the time is considered to be the best DJ in Ibiza. Then he goes deaf.

  2. I heard about it, and I know he’s an amazing DJ. I’ll definitely check it out, thanks.


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